I Wouldn’t Hire Ron Paul…
by Charles Goyette: Slip-Sliding
Into Tyranny: The New American Way
I will grant
that Ron Paul is both intelligent and wise. And yes, it is true,
that he is the most effective champion of human liberty in public
life and seems to know more about the U.S. Constitution than any
other elected official. He does seem to be personally kind and is
even patient with the most obnoxious media figures. And it’s clear
from his voting record that he is a man of principle and integrity.
Still, I wouldn’t
hire Ron Paul…
… to fix my
car. He could be a backyard automotive tinkerer for all I know.
But there is no public evidence to that effect. And I sure wouldn’t
hire him to do eye surgery.
He’s not that
kind of doctor.
Nor would I
hire him to structure a leveraged buyout or manage a hostile corporate
takeover. He’s not experienced in those things. In fact, for something
like that, or to run a private equity firm that does corporate turnarounds,
I actually might hire Mitt Romney. It seems he has both experience
and demonstrable success in that area.
But I certainly
wouldn’t hire Romney to be president.
With the global
doomsday debt clock ticking down, the dollar’s world reserve currency
status unwinding, and the American dream clearly beginning to fade,
we desperately need someone knowledgeable about the economic principles
and monetary policies that have gotten us into this mess.
knows how to get us out.
And that wouldn’t
include Mitt Romney.
With all the
demands of amassing his substantial personal fortune, Mitt has clearly
been too busy to spend any time learning about the Federal Reserve
and its role in our perpetual sequence of bubbles and busts, or
studying Hayek to find out why state central economic planning must
fail, or learning about money and credit from Mises.
It is unfortunate
that people tend to confuse some of these financial and economic
matters, imagining skills in one to be interchangeable with knowledge
about the other. But they are not the same thing.
If Mitt Romney
understood the key economic issues of our time, he wouldn’t have
voted for TARP, Bush’s $700 billion bailout bill in 2008.
Did it do anything
for the real estate market as promised?
Did it do anything
for employment or the debt crisis?
we still have depression era levels of unemployment and 45 million
Americans on food stamps. And a national debt that has exploded
from $9 trillion when the recession began to $15 trillion today.
the tired and the unverifiable: that if the Keynesians’ pump-more-money-into-the-popped-bubble
crowd hadn’t done what they did, things would really be bad.
That’s a good
self-exonerating line that the crowd plays over and over. But it
is they themselves who did exactly what they have done for generations,
blowing up one bubble after another.
differently, they sold us the map that marched us into the swamp
to begin with. And then they sold us another bogus $700 billion
map that was supposed to lead us out.
Only it didn’t.
One could charitably
say that Mitt understands none of this. Or cynically, that while
TARP did nothing for homeowners in places like Kansas City, or for
the unemployed in Modesto, it sure did something for Wall Street.
If Romney understood
the Federal Reserve, he might not support its chairmen and its mission.
But because Romney hasn’t devoted time to understanding central
banking perhaps it needs to be described to him in a way that a
corporate turnaround professional can understand.
Romney say about a hundred year old family-owned company whose outside
management had destroyed 96 percent of the value of the company’s
exactly what the Fed has done to the value of the dollar.
Would any self-respecting
equity manager say, as Romney has said of the Fed, that such malfeasance
doesn’t deserve his effort or focus? What if a closer look revealed
just how much the company’s directors had prospered by their destruction
of the family wealth? Would that be worth Romney’s attention?
It might be
said that Mitt is altogether pleased that the nation’s monetary
affairs are arranged to benefit investment bankers at the expense
of the people. But if that is too cynical, it could be more charitably
said that he just hasn’t had time to master the arcane world of
But then Romney
simply shouldn’t offer himself up as president.
Of course the
very busy Mitt Romney seems to have given no more thought to American
foreign policy than to the bailouts and the Fed. His glib call for
a new American century of global military dominance has the anachronistic
ring of someone who missed all the unintended consequences of our
propping up sheiks and shahs and dictators around the world. And
of someone who slept right through Bush’s elective war in Iraq.
It sounds like someone who is completely clueless about the way
the $1.2 trillion a year we spend on the national security state
has bankrupted this country.
that if he knew then what we know now about Iraq, he wouldn’t have
of people knew then what we know now.
Ron Paul was
clear that Iraq posed no threat to the security of this country.
He knew that the war was being undertaken without constitutional
authorization and that rather than an affair of days or weeks that
we were told, he said that Bush’s splendid little war would be the
biggest since World War II. He foresaw that the war would be accompanied
by the growth of military and police powers along with the erosion
of our civil liberties.
central banking and applied the insights of great economist like
Mises, Ron Paul has described both in advance and in detail the
cycle of bubbles and busts the Federal Reserve has plagued us with.
His 2003 description
in Congress of the way the housing bubble would develop and the
long-term damage it would do the U.S. economy was stunningly exact,
a precise step-by-step preview of the calamity just as it unfolded.
Reserve may not merit Mitt Romney’s attention, but if the Fed had
not been worthy of Ron Paul’s attention, we would not have learned
the shocking truth about how the Fed had been acting as central
bank to the world, secretly loaning trillions of dollars to the
most politically powerful banks and companies. Not to mention foreign
banks including Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank,
UBS, Credit Suisse, and even one owned in substantial part by the
Central Bank of Libya.
At this point
it is not reasonable to expect that Mitt Romney has any idea what
the economic consequences of these Federal Reserve policies will
be. Since the mortgage meltdown the Federal Reserve has blown up
its balance sheet, the adjusted monetary base, from $800 billion
to more than $2.6 trillion. The cost of this policy is yet to be
seen, but for one who understands money and credit like Ron Paul,
that cost is entirely foreseeable. The consequences will be severe.
It is America’s next big economic calamity.
Romney doesn’t know what the consequences of that will be. He hasn’t
applied himself to understanding central banking and monetary theory.
He hasn’t studied Mises and Hayek and Rothbard. He’s an equity raiser
and corporate turnaround guy.
It’s a different
might be a capable venture capitalist, but it would really be a
serious mistake to hire him to be president. And that’s putting
Ron Paul hasn’t
spent his time structuring debt/equity ratios, thinking about mezzanine
financing, or doing venture capital deals. But after a succession
of shallow Romneys, following generations of failed Keynesian spend-our
way-to-prosperity economics, and facing now the bankruptcy of the
welfare/warfare state, for what ails this country Ron Paul is the
the right man this time.
© 2012 Charles Goyette
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